What Does Dust Suppression Equipment Mean?
Dust suppression equipment refers to specific types of specialized equipment designed to limit or eliminate the presence of dust in an area. It is frequently used in situations where dust buildup could pose a combustion hazard (i.e. dust explosions), where ongoing dust creation poses a health hazard that cannot be solved through ventilation, or in cleanroom situations in which the presence of minor amounts of dust could contaminate vulnerable equipment or pose a health hazard due to the particular toxicity of the dust.
Dust suppression systems can be broadly categorized into two groups—wet suppression systems that work to reduce the ability of particulates to form dust, and dry suppression equipment that filters and removes dust from the air.
Safeopedia Explains Dust Suppression Equipment
In situations where dust suppression equipment is used to prevent worker exposure to hazardous contaminants, it is a type of engineering safety control commonly used for the specific purpose of respiratory protection, as well as to protect against irritation of the eyes and nose.
The use of dust suppression equipment is mandatory for situations in which workers would be exposed to hazardous dusts. For instance, OSHA requires that when milling machines are used on material that contains silica (such as asphalt), the material being milled must be treated with a wet solution that includes a dust suppression chemical. Wet dust suppression equipment that is built to reduce the amount of dust in a specific environment, rather than suppress the creation of dust, works by sending atomized water (or another liquid) into the air. These atomized water particles attach themselves to the dust particles, making them heavy enough to fall to the ground and thus removing them from the air. Because the atomized liquid is fully absorbed by the dust particles, it does not actually increase the moisture level of the atmosphere it is located within.
Many dust suppression systems often involve some level of powered air movement; for instance, dry dust suppression systems utilize forced airflow or suction devices to drive air through a filter or other form of dust trap, often storing it in a bag or other container that can be removed and cleaned at regular intervals.